US News and World Report Declares Belize a Top Travel Destination in 2017

Posted on Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

2017 has only just begun and yet already the small Central American nation of Belize has been raking in accolades and travel recommendations from prestigious publications. Best known for its rankings of colleges, hospitals, and travel destinations, U.S. News & World Report has included Belize at or near the top of several of its “best of” lists for travel in 2017.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Belize as the top destination for “Best Affordable Winter Vacations,” mentioning that year-round balmy temperatures and the calm, warm waters of the Caribbean are a top draw for visitors. The report also mentioned the Great Blue Hole (also known as the Belize Blue Hole), ranked by celebrated French marine biologist and documentarian Jacques Cousteau as a top spot for scuba diving.

U.S. News & World Report listed Belize in the number eight position for “Best Places to Visit in Central and South America,” highlighting the number of adventure options in the country, including exploring ancient Maya ruins, the archeological sites of the country’s western Cayo District, and the world-class snorkeling and diving opportunities located at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

Belize also made the list that U.S. News & World Report published on “Best Affordable Vacations in Central and South America,” ranking the country as number eight. The article spotlighted the charming thatched-roof huts, gorgeous coral reefs, and endless expanses of sugar white beaches as some of the top draws in the country. The report also encouraged travelers to explore Maya ruins and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean as two budget-friendly options.

The favorable mentions by U.S. News & World Report in their latest rankings follow similar praise from recent articles published by the New York Times and Lonely Planet. These travel articles mirror statistics recently published by the Belize government which show overnight visitor numbers were up 13% in 2016. In recognition of Belize’s growing popularity, Southwest Airlines recently announced two new flights to Belize, one from Denver, Colorado, and one from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, both to begin operation in 2017.

“We are really enthused to see Belize getting the attention it deserves from these prestigious publications,” said Larry France, marketing manager at the Chabil Mar resort in Placencia, Belize. “We look forward to welcoming new visitors drawn to Belize by these articles. It is our greatest honor to share the beauty and excitement of Belize with travelers from around the world.”


Chabil Mar is a multiple award-winning resort located on the Caribbean coast of the Placencia Peninsula in southeastern Belize. Chabil Mar features luxurious villas, a lush tropical garden, gourmet restaurant, spa, bar, and a long sea pier ideal for enjoying el fresco dining. Chabil Mar offers its guests a plethora of beach and rainforest packages that include guided tours of the top attractions of the mainland and the nearby Belize Barrier Reef.

The Placencia Peninsula is one of the top destinations to visit in Belize. Located conveniently near all of the top snorkeling, sailing, swimming, and fishing destinations on the nearby Belize Barrier Reef as well as major attractions on the mainland, Placencia is the perfect base of operations for an unforgettable Belize vacation.

Begun as a weekly news magazine in 1933, U.S. News & World Report is one of the most popular news magazines in the United States. The company is best known for its highly influential publications that rank universities in the United States. Other regular reports that rank hospitals, health care, careers, cars, and travel are also popular. U.S. News & World Report is a digital pioneer, first providing online content in 1995.


For information about visiting Belize , feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

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Placencia Sidewalk Arts & Music Festival

Posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Placencia-Sidewalk-Art-Festival BelizeYou Should Definitely Attend The Placencia Sidewalk Arts & Music Festival

On February 11 and 12, 2017, Placencia Village will host the 14th annual Sidewalk Arts and Music Festival. The central sidewalk in town will be filled with photographs, paintings, crafts, vendors, clothing, wood carvings, sculptures, and homemade jewelry. With a wide variety of games, drinks, live music, and poetry readings, this popular festival celebrates the very best of Belizean arts and culture.


See also: 25 Things You Need to Know Before You Travel to Placencia Belize


Beginning at 10:00 am, the streets will come alive as artists and artisans from around Belize and the entire region come to display their masterpieces, handicrafts, and homemade works all along the central sidewalk in Placencia.

Family and friends will find plenty to do and see as they stroll from one end of the world’s narrowest main street (just four feet wide) to the other, with over 4,000 feet of festival featuring colorful art, games, live music, and mouthwatering food.

Watch this video and get a scoop of the festival:

The Placencia Sidewalk Arts and Musical Festival is a fantastic event to shop for Belizean art and explore the country’s vivacious music scene.

For more information on the Placencia Sidewalk Arts and Musical Festival, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at:reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

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Meet the Belize Experts at BETEX and Network with Belize’s Best!

Posted on Monday, January 9th, 2017

BETEX 2017 Kicks Off May 3, 2017

BETEX, the biannual Belize Tourism Expo, is scheduled to take place between May 3-5, 2017 in Belize City. The two-day event brings together local and international tourism professionals with the objective of promoting Belize as a world-class visitor destination. The theme of the 2017 BETEX will be “Savor Your BELIZE Experience.”

The first BETEX was held in 1996 and has been held every two years since. BETEX is jointly organized by the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), and private stakeholders in the Belize tourism industry. More than 350 tour operators, hotel owners, and tourism service providers are expected to participate in the 2017 BETEX event. The BETEX event will be open to the public, offering travelers and locals alike a great opportunity to learn more about Belize and the top attractions, lodgings, and visitor services on offer in the country. BETEX is the only travel show held in Belize that brings together travel professionals to get to know Belize to help better sell the country as a travel destination.

Added benefits of attending BETEX include:

  1. a) One on one appointments with your desired local Belize tourism partners.
  2. b) “Post Expo Tours” (FAM trips) to your Jungle, Oceanfront and Combination Jungle and Sea tourism partners.

“We look forward to participating in the 2017 BETEX,” said Larry France, Marketing Manager at the Chabil Mar resort in Placencia, Belize.

“Chabil Mar representatives will be attending the BETEX tradeshow in Belize City to meet travel agents and wholesalers that offer tourism services and products specializing in Belize, particularly the Placencia Peninsula. Then there is the additional benefit to all of us when the agents/wholesalers are being given the opportunity through the ‘Post Expo Tours” to meet and greet all of our staff, on site, at Chabil Mar during the Placencia FAM. There’s nothing quite like having that first-hand experience and knowledge of the resorts you represent.”

BETEX will bring together travel and tourism professionals who have helped make Belize one of the hottest vacation destinations in the region. Lonely Planet, the world’s leading publisher of travel guides and books, recently released their top 10 destinations for budget-conscious travelers in 2017 that featured Belize as the top destination to visit in Central and South America. The Lonely Planet list focused on the growing trend of eco-tourism in the Placencia Peninsula, highlighting how electric-powered golf carts are the leading form of transportation in the area.

Another important driver of increasing tourism to Belize is the New York Times, one of the most widely read and respected newspapers in the United States. In their 2017 report of the 52 top destinations to visit, Belize was highlighted for its many tourism attractions, including swimming and snorkeling the Belize Barrier Reef, visiting ancient Maya ruins such as Xunantunich, and sampling the wide variety of affordable street food found in every town and city in the country.

 

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Three killer whales spotted in southern Belize

Posted on Monday, January 9th, 2017

Although the offshore waters of Belize are home to an incredible diversity of marine flora and fauna, the presence of orcas spotted near Ranguana Caye was a rare occurrence. A large killer whale, sometimes known as an orca, was spotted on December 29, 2016, heading north with another male adult and a juvenile.

Jason Westby, a freelance tour guide who operates fishing tours in conjunction with a number of local resorts, including Chabil Mar, spotted the three orcas between 9:30 and 10:30 AM on December 29, 2016, in the vicinity of Ranguana Caye and Palm Owens Caye on the Belize Barrier Reef. Westby told local media that a school of tuna was in the area, which may account for the presence of the three orcas, apex predators who regularly consume tuna as part of their diet.

Westby was alerted to the presence of the three killer whales when he heard a large splash. Westby then signaled to his clients that a “massive” animal was present near their location, but he told local media that he originally believed the animal was a marlin. Westby became alarmed as one of the male orcas “jumped straight at him like a freight train,” causing Westby to reverse his boat’s engine. Westby estimates that the two adult males were between 30-32 feet long, far bigger than the 23-foot skiff he was operating at the time of the sighting.

Chabil Mar guests were on board the boat with Jason Westby and were lucky to see the killer whales

 

When the pod of orcas turned and headed north, Westby angled his boat to follow them for approximately half a mile. Two other tour group operators in the area, Blue Reef Adventures and an unnamed company helmed by Rowland Alford, managed to capture the encounter on video.

Another giant of the ocean deeps is a more frequent visitor to the waters off of Belize. Whale sharks, the largest fish species on the planet, migrate to the Belize Barrier Reef every year between March and June to feed on enormous quantities of spawn and juvenile fish. Orcas are rarely seen in the waters off of Belize, and the last known sighting occurred in 2014 near Maugre Caye in the Turneffe Atoll region prior to the December 29, 2016, encounter.

One of the premier diving experiences in Belize is interacting with the whale sharks during their time in Belizean water. In order to protect the whale sharks, only licensed tour operators are allowed to bring divers into the area in carefully limited groups. Chabil Mar, the award-winning resort on the Placencia Peninsula, offers visitors a chance to see whale sharks up close and personal with their Belize whale shark diving package.


For information about visiting Belize , feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

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New York Times says to visit Placencia Belize in 2017

Posted on Friday, January 6th, 2017

America’s most prestigious newspaper, the New York Times, has just published a new article entitled “52 Places to Go in 2017.” Although a small country in Central America with far less publicity and prestige than more popular nearby attractions, Belize made the New York Times’s list as a place that travelers should visit in 2017.

In particular, the New York Times article focused on Placencia on the southeastern coast of Belize, home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. With a reference to how ecotourism is expanding in Placencia, the article describes how golf carts are the most popular form of transportation on the 16-mile peninsula and that the area is home to a variety of yoga studios, spas, and luxury resorts. The New York Times highlighted the fact that the “laid-back beach town” of Placencia (the village that serves as the capital of the peninsula) is close to many of the prime locations on the Belize Barrier Reef, including where scuba divers can swim with migrating whale sharks.


See also:10 Amazing Day Trips to Take in Placencia


One of the premier resorts on the Placencia Peninsula is Chabil Mar. Named for a Maya term meaning “beautiful sea,” Chabil Mar features luxuriously appointed villas just minutes from the village. Chabil Mar offers its guests a chance to relax in an oasis of tranquility and beauty, including a lush tropical garden, infinity pool, professional spa, and seafront pier that is a popular dining spot for enjoying gourmet meals made to order at the resort’s restaurant.

The Placencia Peninsula is rapidly becoming one of the top attractions in the country, offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy the best of the mainland as well as close access to the nearby Belize Barrier Reef. Chabil Mar offers guests organized Belize vacation packages that include tours to nearby ancient Maya cities, excursions through ceremonial caves once used by Maya priests to perform human sacrifices, and hiking tours through the Cockscomb Basin Nature Preserve, the world’s only full-time reserve dedicated to protecting and studying jaguars.

Some of the more popular annual events in and around Placencia include Lobsterfest. Held every June, the Placencia Lobsterfest celebrates the opening of the lobster fishing season, giving visitors and locals alike a chance to sample dozens of innovative dishes featuring the world’s most popular crustacean. Travelers who cannot make it to Placencia to escape winter should definitely consider visiting the peninsula in June to enjoy all the food, fun, and music of Lobsterfest.


For more information about visiting Belize or Placencia in 2017 , feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

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